Souvenir 2002 - Kashmiri for the cultural vacuum which envelopes us in the concrete jungle of Mumbai
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Editor-in-Chief: P. N. Wali Coordinating Editor: M. K. Raina Members: J. N. Kachroo, Onkar Aima, Basanti Raina
Souvenir 2002 Kashmiri Pandits’ Association, Mumbai (INDIA)
The Ultimate Reality
Namaskar! It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all on the eve of our Annual Cultural Program. Over the years, this event has become the main focus of our interaction, second only to our Annual Hawan. May be this yearlong wait for the program enhances its appeal, but the fact is that the program caters to our longing for the cultural vacuum which envelopes us in the concrete jungle of Mumbai. This two hours capsule of variety entertainment in true Kashmiri ambience takes us on a nostalgic journey to our motherland ‘Kasheer’.
This year, I am happy to announce, we have invited a celebrated Kashmiri singer from Delhi Shri Rajinder Kachru who hardly needs any introduction to our Biradari. Enough it would be to say that he is the epitome of the finest threads in the fabric of music. We are grateful to Shri Kachru for having accepted our invitation to perform for the Kashmiri Pandits’ Association on its Annual function. We extend to him a warm welcome.
Talking about the other items of the variety program, I would, without mentioning names, like to thank the enthusiastic members of the youth, who have, as usual, come forward voluntarily to put up their show and I would also thank all the Biradari members who have worked behind the scene to conceptualize and execute the task which has taken the shape of the “Entertainment Nite.”
The prestigious “Life-Time Contribution Award” of the Kashmiri Pandits’ Association for the year 2001-2002, I am happy to declare, has been conferred upon Shri Jawahir Lal Kasid, who has worked silently but ceaselessly for the welfare of the community for decades. The Kashmiri Pandits’ Association coffers would receive quite a boost by his fund collection drive. The B.O.T. and the entire Biradari joins me in congratulating Shri Kasid for this rare honour.
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Mohan Lal Aima Music Award
The Award, as you are all aware, enters the fourth year. Though the basic idea of taking initiative of inculcating interest in Kashmiri language through music, has been appreciated by the community throughout the country, even our community members living abroad have applauded the idea. But, somehow, we have realized that the time for the assessment of the contest is not opportune, as most of the could-be-participants are bogged down in their exams, hence low participation. We shall in future shift the “assessment date” to more favourable time.
However, this year the Ist Award of cash prize of Rs.2000/- in the male category goes to Master Vivek Wali and the IInd of Rs.500/- has been won by Master Sidharth Wali. The Award in the female category has been bagged jointly by Ms. Niyati Kaul and Ms. Urshila Kaul and the second prize goes to Ms. Shagun.
From this year the “Quiz Contest Awards” under the project ZAAN - a joint venture of the Kashmiri Pandits’ Association and the Lalla-Ded Educational & Welfare Trust would form a part of the Annual Cultural Program. The various programs stipulated under the Project ZAAN have been well received nationally and internationally. All the programs under the project have been inducted into a website floated by Shri Sunil Fotedar of Texas, U.S.A. for the larger interested netizens. The U.K. Kashmiri Sabha has ordered another 100 copies of all the publications produced under this project, for, they have found the publication not only informative but also enlightening.
I take this opportunity to thank all the advertisers who have generously contributed to our Souvenir and helped the Association to raise funds to meet its obligations.
I shall be failing in my duty if I would not express my gratitude to the Biradari members who have put in their best to obtain advertisements for the Souvenir which was a real tough job in the present day financial scene.
During my tenure as the President, I have always found our Biradari cooperative and rising upto any challenges whenever time demands. Ours is a vibrant community in general and our Mumbai Biradari is always throbbing and pulsating in particular. May our youngsters take a cue from their seniors and may they not only rival their elders but excel them in the welfare of community tasks. I wish you all the luck on the ensuing ‘Navreh.”
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The Ultimate Reality - Why should a scientist investigate it?
By: Dr. C. L. Bhat
Dr. C. L. Bhat
[Kashmiri Pandits’ Association has, over the years, been incorporating some extracts from our holy Scriptures for the benefit of the Biradari in the Souvenirs released on our Annual Cultural shows. This year we found a lucid and an illuminating exposition of certain truths of a great metaphysical and spiritual import contributed by late Dr. C. L. Bhat of BARC published in a periodical Shuddhavidya of Bhagvaan Gopinathji Trust, New Delhi in December 2001-May 2002 issue. We thought, apart from paying our homage to great Dr. Bhat who passed away recently in a tragic accident, the article would enhance the ‘intellectual inquisitiveness’ which according to Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj is ‘a pre-requisite for spiritual enlightenment’.]
Some Questions : This article addresses a question which needs to be pondered over by every serious student of science. The question is closely connected with the fundamental query: Is our universe a mere chance, occurrence or does it have a Primary cause, which, figuratively speaking, has laid out the blueprint for its overall evolution and is keeping it ticking? This hypothesized Prime Mover is popularly known as God, a term which we shall use here in its broadest conceivable connotation. Surely, in anticipation of the genuine concerns of the scientific community - the primary target audience for this article - we are talking here about the rather naive idea of God as a SOMEBODY watching us earthlings from above the
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clouds and scrupulously pursuing a carrot-and-stick dispensation policy, but SOMETHING subtler, SOMETHING more sophisticated conceptually. So wide-spread and all encompassing has been the impact of modern science and related technological developments in various compartments of human activity that quite justifiably, the present age is referred to as the era of science. Naturally, therefore, there is a strong sentiment of scientism in the air and a scientist today is being viewed as a role model, particularly so in high-visibility, trend-setting sections of the contemporary society. The considered answer that the scientist gives to this core- question, therefore, would have a significant bearing on whether the human society will consolidate or lose its spiritual moorings with the passage of time.
His answer can be, “ Yes, based on my understanding of modern science and spirituality, it makes sense to believe in God, or, that it does not, or yet again, quite simply the chosen parameter-space of my specialization is too restrictive to qualify me to answer this profound question.” But, he must take a clear stand with regard to this crucial matter. The famous Buddha ambivalence, which the bulk of scientific community maintains at present, would not do, for, this silence can be (and is being) misinterpreted by impressionable sections of society as a negation of God, the Ultimate Reality, with potential for serious, long-term social anomalies and, even civilizational distortions. A helpless victim of thus-corrupted moral and ethical value systems, such a disoriented man may exploit technology and other by-products of scientific advancement, in a manner as to tarnish the fair names of, both, science and human civilization.
Even in its own right, this postulated Fundamental Cause should be investigated by the scientist more earnestly than by anybody else, for, is it not his avowed creed to go to the bottom of things and try to know the whole truth? If such an Ultimate Reality indeed exists, how can he afford to side-step it, as he has been, by and large, doing so far? Traditionally, the scientist has essentially confined himself to knowing the ‘how’ of things, but not the ‘why’ of things. It is now being increasingly realised in knowledgeable scientific circles that this piecemeal approach has its inherent limitations and must be supplemented, even superseded, by a holistic approach in order to have a total perspective and fuller comprehension of various dimensions of the Reality. In science, more often than elsewhere, we are reminded not to be guided by surface appearances alone, but to probe deeper and go to the fact(s) lurking behind the facade. Equally importantly, nor is the scientist advised to selectively ignore such observations and results as apparently go against the ‘tide of conventional opinion,’ for, in doing so, he may miss a golden opportunity for discovering another dimension and another paradigm. In view of this rich scientific culture, it would not be desirable for a scientist to be dismissive about the profound content in the spiritual messages of various master mystics; he should instead, take seriously the Reality underlying these messages.
Why has the mainstream scientist, then, been following a seemi